Equality and diversity

Equality and diversity word cloudEveryone should have an equal opportunity to access high quality care and support to meet their individual needs and people should not be disadvantaged due to their background, culture or community.

Workers need to be sensitive to people's needs and have the confidence to discuss individuals' differences to find out how they can best offer care and support.

CQC say there is growing evidence that equality and human rights for people using services and staff needs to play a central role in improving the quality of care. Equally outstanding: Equality and human rights - good practice resource explores how care providers can put equality and human rights at the heart of improvement work.


'Confident with difference' - new resource now available 

What is ‘Confident with difference’?

The phrase ‘we treat everyone the same’ is often used in care services. It’s a common belief that this is the right approach to providing good care and support. But despite the well-meant intention, treating everyone the same can ignore important differences.

The aim of the ‘Confident with difference’ resource is to allow you and your team to consider how well you currently embrace diversity and what you could do to improve. It consists of five short films with supporting activities; four are for managers and leaders to use with their teams and one film aimed specifically at managers and organisation leaders. CQC recognise that leadership is vital to help to establish an inclusive service and improve equality. If you're required to complete a Provider Information Return (PIR) CQC will want to know how your service has supported the needs of people with protected characteristics and these films will help you consider this.

Each film is around 3-4 minutes long and is accompanied by a series of questions about workers’ own practices and the practices of their organisation.

The films cover the following topics:
  • Film 1: What does being ‘confident with difference’ mean?
  • Film 2: Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Film 3: Engaging with your community
  • Film 4: Beyond the label
  • Film 5: Leadership

I'm really passionate about the work Skills for Care has been doing around being confident with difference. It’s a challenge to us all to ensure that we can focus on the individuals that we work with and begin to learn about the experiences that have made them who they are today. This resource won’t immediately break down the barriers of engaging with those of us from various communities, including LGBTQI, BAME or Faith groups. It will however help us to become confident with the differences that many people engaging with our services have and help us to understand and celebrate these differences, making our service offer and our organisations all the richer for it. 


Mark Rounding, CEO, Age UK Bradford

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Are your workers confident in having conversations about ability and disability; cultural identity and customs; sexual orientation or gender identity; religion or faith; and relationships and support?  Would they feel awkward or be afraid of saying the wrong thing or causing offence?

Do they understand how people's background, culture and community can influence their past experiences, future aspirations, relationships and their care and support needs, as well as potentially their expectations, or reservations, about accessing care and support?

The Care Certificate includes standards on equality and diversity and person centred care to provide all new care workers with an early understanding of what these terms mean and how to apply this understanding in their practice.

Safe to be me produced by Age UK in partnership with Opening Doors London, helps managers and workers understand how to support older people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and helps training providers ensure courses include discussions and scenarios relating to the needs of people who are LGBT.

Just like people accessing care and support, people working in the sector will also come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and communities.

You can access reports and briefings that include information on the diversity of the adult social care workforce here.

We couldn’t collate these reports without the vital information adult social care employers input into the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC). To interrogate the data yourself, or look for something for specific, you can use the open access dashboards - select the 'workforce demographics section.

You might have seen reports and information about WRES, the NHS's Workforce Race Equality Standard. We’re working with the Care Providers Alliance to undertake similar work to explore disadvantages faced by the black and minority ethnic (BME) social care workforce with discussions about actions the sector needs to take to reduce identified inequalities.

If you’re in a social care leadership role and from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, you could benefit from the Moving Up BAME leaders programme. The course is particularly relevant for service managers, registered managers, heads of service and operational managers. Find out more about this programme.

If you're looking to recruit a more diverse workforce take a look at our attract more people section including guidance on how you can attract people from under-represented groups.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have produced some guidance around Human rights in health social care.

The Equality Act 2010 made it unlawful to ask people about health conditions and disabilities before being offered job - designed to stop discrimation against job applicants with health conditions but unlawful practice is still happening. The National AIDS Trust have a published a report showing the continued use of unlawful pre-employment health questions amongst employers.

QSocial care employers: Have you heard of the: Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES)?
QIf yes, do you use it to self-assess on this agenda?